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Absinthe Comes to America
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Thanks, Cubans

Weekend Cocktail: The Grapefruit Mojito

It isn’t a big secret that we’re more than a bit enamored with the beauty and mystique of all things Cuban. That includes the ubiquitous mojito. And while the original recipe will suffice any day, adding the sweet, tangy flavor of grapefruit should boost the mojito to the top of your summer “To-Drink” list.

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No Reason to be Bitter

Tasting Notes: Angostura Rum

The House of Angostura makes the best-known bitters in the world. In fact, with all the press given to Angostura’s bitters, it’s easy to overlook their line of rums, which they’ve been making for over 100 years. We had a chance to try the three rums in Angostura’s premium line — rums for sipping.

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Gimme some sugar(cane)

Slow As Molasses: 5 Rums We’re Drinking Now

In the final throes of summer each year, before we dust off the leather boots, get out the lambswool sweaters and prepare to toss the first curse at Old Man Winter, we spend a little extra time with Old Man Rum. Pretty good company, this guy: a spirit distilled from sugarcane juice or molasses, with few other rules to govern its production and aging. That makes for a drink that varies greatly in style and provenance. The five rums we’re enjoying now reflect that variety of tastes.

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As American as the Mayflower, and twice as fun

Rum: Your Official Summer Drink

Most honest Americans of drinking age know bourbon as the national spirit. But there’s another drink for us to enjoy in the warm weather that, like bourbon, has a uniquely American story: rum. We’ve overlooked it for some time; meanwhile, there’s plenty of new, excellent, American and Caribbean rum coming to market, and rum-specific bars are opening in cities across the country. Rum, for now, is a little less serious than Scotch or bourbon, but what it brings to the table is no laughing matter — unless you’ve got your pinky dangling.

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Making pirates everywhere happy for 310 years

Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum

Mount Gay’s Black Barrel Rum is a small batch from the mind of Master Blender Allen Smith that combines previously aged reserves from both pot and column distillates and finishes them with an extended stay in deeply charred Bourbon oak barrels. The end result is a dark coppery-gold liquid with a nose of citrus, complimented by vanilla and charred wood.

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Guatemala’s finest export

Tasting Notes: Zacapa XO Rum

While most drinkers look to the islands for their rum fix, good things are coming out of Guatemala, like Ron Zacapa XO ($50), a delicious blend of rums aged six to 25 years old. Most rums are distilled from molasses, but Zacapa is produced from first pressed sugar cane juice at its Guatemalan distillery. Once…

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Double aged for twice the taste

Tasting Notes: Brugal 1888 Rum

Brugal 1888 ($45-50) is what happens when five generations of Maestros Roneros, or Rum Masters, have been hand-crafting Brugal rums since the company was founded in 1888. This latest product blends that experience with a double distillation and double aging process for a unique, flavorful rum that’s perfect for sipping on a cool fall day….

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Hand-crafted in Austin, TX

Tasting Notes: Treaty Oak Platinum Rum

Rum: the storied beverage that fueled the slave trade and pirates, and still fuels tropical vacations. Texas: the larger-than-life state of red meat and cold beer. Merging the two dissociated subjects is Austin-based Treaty Oak Platinum Rum ($25), a spirit containing only Texas ingredients, including molasses from the last operating sugar mill in the state….

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A Throwback to the Rums of Old

Tasting Notes: Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican Rum

Smith and Cross Traditional Jamaican Rum ($29) is what happened when importer Haus Alpenz teamed up with some industry luminaries to create a new rum – one that pays homage to the rums of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While many of today’s rums feature light and sweet flavor profiles, earlier era Jamaican…

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Drink like a navy man

Tasting Notes: Black Tot Last Consignment Rum

July 31, 1970 was a tough day for British sailors as the 300 year tradition of daily rum rations ended. With the market for British Royal Naval Rum drying up, remaining stocks were stored away in warehouses laying mostly undisturbed, only brought out for state functions and royal weddings. Luckily for us, in the true…

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Caribbean in a Bottle

Tasting Notes: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum

It’s a commonly known fact that the months between New Years and Spring are dreary and depressing, especially for those of us on the East Coast. Being strong believers in self medication taking action, Gear Patrol set out to find a stiff drink to bust our winter blues, and came back with the Appleton Estate…

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Time flies when you’re having Rum

The Kraken Rum

“A rum to put a beast in your belly”, The Kraken has washed onto the market and is bringing out the inner pirate in us all. An alternative from name brand rums, the Kraken ($20) provides a flavor that’s richer and stronger than the captain, and weighs in at a hefty 94 proof. Caramel sugars…

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Expatriated Rum

Dos Maderas PX Rum

Forming a rock solid definition of what actually constitutes something as “rum” has always been tough. While stalwart liquor snobs use this as an excuse to downplay the importance of Jack Sparrow’s preferred libation, one benefit of loose rules is the inspiration of boundary pushing. Dos Maderas PX proves this point nicely. Most rums mature…

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Life After Vodka

Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum

Vodka tonic. Vodka cranberry. Vodka martini, Vodka gimlet, Vodka Red Bull… Stop it. Like the recession, there’s life after Vodka, not that there’s anything wrong with the drink. It’s just that Vodka isnt the only drink out there. We aim to show you otherwise. For those that partake in the second most consumed spirit out…

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Matusalem Rum Gran Reserva

We’ve heard Matusalem Rum Gran Reserva referred to as the “cognac of rums,” We’re not experts when it comes to rum, but what we do know is that when we went out, purchased a bottle and poured ourselves a drink over rocks it made us smile and say “damn, that’s good.” We’re not sure if…

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Oronoco Rum

Rum should be in your bar’s summer stock. Another fantastic complex beverage, rum is one of the most difficult of spirits to make. Sometimes based on molassas, sugar cane or even yeast, there’s a wide variety of rum available. Oronoco rum is a Brazilian white rum with a slightly vanilla flavor. It’s perfect to mix…